Chilly weather, winds and rain have moved in and our little Indian summer is over, it seems, and surprisingly I am at peace with the dissipating warmth. I'm somewhat ready for the next season to carry us through the rest of this year. But as another year slowly creeps towards a close, gone are more moments that will never return. Ever since Dean celebrated his 36th birthday last week, I have been seriously waxing nostalgic. I climbed into bed with my sleeping Noah that night and cried. Having kids, and most notably a second, has unexpectedly turned me into a mushy, gushy, kissy, huggy, sentimental wreck. I can see, literally see, Noah and little Fern growing in their sleep. Every morning they are bigger, taller, more clever than the day before. The minutes and weeks and months and years are passing all too quickly and as I laid crumpled up in his little toddler bed, I saw Dean and myself 5, 10, 20, 30 years from now--grey, old and begging the kids to come home for Thanksgiving. We will have been together for 11 years on the 29th of this month. And the last 11 years have felt like a blink of the eye, a fleeting second buzzing past at lightening speed. How fast will this time ahead of us pass? Looking through our wedding photos tonight in an effort to finally put together an album--nearly 5 years post nuptials--has only compounded the urgency of my anxiety. We are dated. We are not really wiser. But we ARE older.
The husband of a mommy acquaintance of mine back in Los Angeles died a week ago this past weekend of a brain tumor. They have a 3 year old son and a 1 month old baby girl. When I learned of his passing, I was cooking dinner. Simultaneously I felt sick to my stomach and suddenly the task of preparing food for my family somehow seemed irrelevant. Time is so fleeting, so fragile, so frail, so frank. It is not nostalgic. It just passes without hesitation. It is an efficient and unsympathetic employee of life.
I have five grandparents, so the weight of the inevitable is growing heavy. Now that I have reached my 30's and have begun looking outside of those self-possessed 20's to notice those around me aging, I can't stop from looking ahead to all of the pending heartbreaks. I know that growing, aging, change and even death can sometimes be beautiful--at least in the sense that it is a natural progression of time's passing--organic--unstoppable--unavoidable. But now that I have arrived to a place of visceral awareness, I don't like it one bit. I want to fire time, or at least teach it some manners--encourage it to go about things a little bit slower, kinder, gentler--like a Southerner sipping sweet tea on a sweaty front porch. In the least, I am hoping that this sob way of viewing forthcoming birthdays and the arrival of 2012 is as fleeting as the time that I curse, or otherwise I need get better at living in the moment regardless of what the future holds because if I screw up the now, the then will really suck!